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The Hither Green crash, which was caused by a broken rail at a fishplate in jointed track, accelerated the introduction of Continuous Welded Rail (CWR), and upgraded permanent way maintenance standards for the increased wear imposed by faster, heavier trains on track.
This document was published on 8th August 1968 by Ministry of Transport.
It was written by Ministry of Transport.
This item is linked to the Accident at Hither Green on 5th November 1967
The original document format was Stapled Book, and comprised 38 pages.
This document was kindly sourced from Wobbly Bob and is in our Accident reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 20th July 2005.
This document is Crown Copyright, and is subject to the terms governing the reproduction of crown copyright material. Depending on the status and age of the original document, you may need an OPSI click-use license if you wish to reproduce this material, and other restrictions may apply. Please see this explanation for further details.
"The train concerned was the 19.43 Hastings to Charing Cross and it comprised twelve coaches made up of two six-coach diesel-electric sets. It was approaching Hither Green under clear signals on the Up Fast line
at about 70 m.p.h. when the leading pair of wheels of the third coach struck a small wedge shaped piece of steel that had broken away from the end of a running rail, and became derailed towards the Down Fast line.
The train ran on in this condition for about 1 mile when the derailed wheels struck the crossover lead of a diamond crossing in the Up Fast line. This caused the third coach, the one ahead of it, and all the coaches
behind it to become completely derailed, and the second to the fifth coaches to turn over onto their sides before they stopped some 250 yards further on. The coupling broke behind the leading coach which was not
derailed and it ran forward and stopped 220 yards beyond the second coach and some 750 yards short of Hither Green station. The overturned coaches were very severely damaged.
As it was a Sunday, the train was well filled, with passengers standing in the corridors of the corridor coaches. I much regret to report that 49 passengers were killed and 78 were injured; of the latter, 27 were seriously injured and were detained in hospital. The majority of the casualties occurred in the overturned coaches."
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